Oklahoma man charged with harboring runaway Mississippi teen; pair nabbed in Iowa

Published 11:15 am Monday, March 2, 2020

An Oklahoma man has been charged in Iowa with harboring a runaway teenager from Mississippi.

The 15-year-old and Jared Wright, 21, were found Sunday in his car at a high school parking lot in Johnston, Iowa, according to Iowa court documents. She was unharmed, said Lt. Heath Osberg of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

The court documents don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for Wright, who lives in Lawton, Oklahoma.

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The documents say police from Tishomingo County, Mississippi, contacted the Iowa department to say the girl was last seen in Tishomingo County but was thought Sunday to be in Iowa at a Walmart store in Grimes, another Des Moines suburb.

Deputies soon searched the store, to no avail, but the girl, earlier identified by Mississippi authorities as Monica Leeann O’Bryan, and Wright were found in the Johnston parking lot around 5:35 p.m., less than a mile away.

The court document says he told officers he intended to help the girl remain away from her home in Mississippi.

Police in Belmont, Mississippi, said the girl went missing Feb. 24 from her grandmother’s home.